Blog Tour & Giveaway: Absolutely, Almost Perfect by Lissa Reed

Oh My Shelves welcomes Lissa Reed to the blog today! Asked her some questions and she is nice enough to chat with Oh My Shelves. She comes baring excerpts, giveaways, and a sequel to two wonderful guys! Absolutely Almost Perfect released on August 3rd, 2017 is a 4 star read from our Mika! Please give a big shout out to Lissa, and make sure you follow along the blog tour so you won’t miss out a really good giveaway and a chance to win the e-book! Check it out!

Q&A with Lissa Reed, author of Absolutely, Almost, Perfect.

Hi Lissa, thanks for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi there! I am a writer, knitter, baker, and cat fancier living in Dallas. I do tech work by day, but my free time is spent engaged in the art of making up entertaining lies, a pastime that’s been close to my heart since I was a small child. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is my third book.

How do you feel about e-books vs print books?

Honestly, I love both. Owning a Kindle means I can carry dozens of books in my purse and not break the straps. It means I can easily get books in different languages and not have to pay horrible shipping charges. I love the search within a book option.

But you know, there’s something about a print book, about the smell of paper and ink. About the heft of it in your hand, and the way it sounds to ruffle the pages. There are some books I just want in print form, too, like the Harry Potter books or cookbooks or old books from my childhood. Ultimately, the important thing is that I have books of some kind around me at all times.

What process did you go through to get your first book published?

Interlude Press found me through my friend Mimsy Hale, who is also published with them. Up until then, I had only written fanfiction. It was quite an adjustment, mostly in the editing stages – I had some stringent betas in the fanfic world, but our editing team at Interlude is, as you would expect, a whole new level. I had to – am still having to – get a better handle on the grammar things I mostly ignored in school. I was a big coaster in English class, I got through on the strength of my written essays and term papers, and boy, am I feeling it now!

How do you find or make time to write?

I work during the day, so I have to, by default, write at night and on weekends. Right now I am only writing on Sundays, because I am working on a new project that’s pretty intense and I need to just have the one day a week to fully sit down and concentrate on it.

That said, I do constantly take notes on my phone. I have been known to write entire chapters in the Notes app or in the Google Docs app. I saw a thread on Twitter the other day about a writer who was taking a flight and he watched a fellow passenger – a teenage girl – whip out her phone and fly through typing what he estimated to be about four thousand words of solid fiction. And he was just in awe of her, and it was awesome, because so frequently that’s how I work! Not to the tune of 4k in a few hours, I only wish, but yeah, on my phone. People have kind of given me grief sometimes for being on my phone a lot, but honestly, apart from being a lifeline to friends around the world, it is also my main writing tool next to my laptop. Frankly, it’s easier on my wrists, too.

Name one person who you feel supported you outside of your family members?

So many! But I am going to shout out my friend Alana here. She’s been cheering me on with the Sucre Coeur series from day one, from the earliest drafts. I named a restaurant after her in book two and just flat out dedicated this third book to her. She’s been a friend since my fandom days and I am so lucky to have had someone so upbeat and encouraging with me on this little journey.

Tell us about a book you’re reading now.

Oh, man. I am reading The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker. Her Compass series was recommended to me last year, and when I found out she was writing a book focused on the character of Reyes Walter, I flipped. Could not wait for it! Rey is sort of the driving force behind the Compass books, a real BDSM puppet master pulling strings in the name of helping people, so I’ve been very, very eager to see who Tamsen finds for him. I love a good story about a lone wolf meeting their match. I am making this one last, let me tell you. I don’t want it to end!

Absolutely Almost Perfect: by Lissa Reed
Series: Sucre Coeur #3
Release Date: August 3rd, 2017
Pages: • Format: e-book
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
Interlude PressAmazonSmashwords

Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.

As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.

 

Excerpt

Deftly, she ducks out of his arms with a sly grin that doesn’t exactly fill Craig with joy. “Right. Avoiding that topic in the interests of maintaining peace?”
Uh-oh.

“Let’s talk about your wedding plans!” She takes back her towel and tucks it into place, smiling at him all the while. “Hmm?”
No. No, there’s not one thing about that question that he likes, not even a little. “Don’t quite get what you mean,” he lies. Of course, he knows exactly what she means. He’s been tense while waiting for her to find an opportunity to bring it up again and damn if he didn’t just hand it to her himself. Still. Four days, one almost had to admire her restraint.
But he doesn’t want to think about it. The ring has been a pulsing beacon from its new hiding place, fraying his nerves with its very presence as everything goes pear-shaped.

“You do too,” Chloe retorts, her eyes narrowed. “Assuming you find a good time to propose and Alex accepts, you’ll have your own wedding to plan. Any luck figuring out when you’ll pop The Big Question?”
“Ah, well, I had in mind perhaps the thirty-fifth of Septembruary, at the High Noon of Absolutely Never.” This is a conversation Craig wants to have even less than any with or about Duncan. Proposing to Alex seemed like such a no-brainer when he first picked up the ring. Even when he was making sure it was still securely hidden in his bag, he had nothing but confidence in his decision.

Then they came here. And everything went madder than Craig could have expected. He winces. How can he even consider proposing after this?

Craig crosses back to his bowls of ingredients. He rests his full weight on the counter, and the sigh that comes out of him could send a paper boat across a pond. The guilt that propels it could sink the boat. “Chloe.”

“No, no, no,” she says as she scampers over to stand next him. With pursed lips, she sticks a finger in front of his face and waves it around. “No second thoughts. You bought the ring, he’s lovely, no second thoughts.”

Craig laughs in disbelief. “I’m not having second thoughts about him, Cee.” Not even remotely. Almost two years they’ve been inseparable now and Craig loves Alex so much it could steal his breath and he’d count the loss as negligible. “Never about him.”

Chloe manages an entire ten seconds of staring before she raises her hands and asks, “So, what then?”

He snorts and gives her a sidelong glance. “You spent Tuesday night combing buttercream out of your hair and you have to ask?”

Giveaway
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Hold // Five winners receive Absolutely, Almost, Perfect eBook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her first composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary fiction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.
Get to know Lissa Reed at lissareed.com; on Twitter @lissareedbooks; and on on Instagram at lissa_angeline.

 

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect by Lissa Reed

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect: by Lissa Reed
Series: Sucre Coeur #3
Release Date: August 3rd, 2017
Pages: • Format: e-ARC
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
Interlude PressAmazonSmashwords

Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.

As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.

 

four-stars

I really don’t know where to start. I honestly read book 1 yesterday just to get a feel of these guys again, and I still enjoyed it. I really enjoy the realistic feeling of Reed’s writing. It seems so easily written, but that might not be how to describe it. 2 souls who couldn’t be more good for each other than these two. You can see the love between Craig & Alex.

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is a great follow up to Craig & Alex. I really adored Craig in book one. He was the essential gentleman. Everything about him was amazing, and still is. Its the first time he’s flustered to this extend. I was weary about Alex. Weary enough that I didn’t think he was good enough for Craig. That’s me wanting Craig to be with someone easier to deal with. Alex has a lot of hangups, and they don’t get fixed over night, but this book shows what a year can do for a person. He’s grown tremendously, and he’s learned to love and trust Craig.

“The Most fundamental truth of his life is that Craig is home, Craig is refuge, Craig is a place for Alex to catch his breath.”

This was by far my favorite line in the book. Going back home to Craig is a double edged sword. He wants to see him family and support a close friend, but Craig has all the reservations in the world. His older brother whom he’s never gotten along with is marrying said close friend. As much as he tries to run away from this problem once home, he can’t get far. Alex for all intentions and purposes is right there holding Craig up. He’s there adulting, and being the support system that he never thought he could be. It was a breath of fresh air reading about these two. I loved Craig’s family a lot. I loved the ending, the compromises, the laughter and tears. Goodness, that scene at 90% had me looking towards the ceiling because I didn’t want my tears to fall.

This series is so eloquently written. I feel like I can close my eyes, and picture Lissa’s words in my head. I don’t do audios very much, but this is a series I’m looking forward to listening to. If you haven’t read book 1 then you don’t know what you are missing. This is a true love story. It doesn’t have the physical steam that I like, but I love reading about the coupling of them together more then the act itself. Its a definite recommend from me, and I look forward to more from this author.

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About Lissa Reed

Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her first composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary fiction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.

Menace (Scarlet Scars #1) by J.M. Darhower

Series:
Narrator: Iggy Toma, Kasha Kensington
Source: Tantor Audio

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Title: Menace by J.M. Darhower
Series: Scarlet Scars #1
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Format: Audiobook (11 hrs and 51 mins)
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia Romance
Published By: Tantor Audio
Purchase Links: • Tantor Audio
 

three-stars

J.M. Darhower is my one of my favorite writers when it comes to Mob stories so I was so stoked when this audiobook was released. I may have had Sempre in the back of my mind, or something similar in plot. This was far from it and this one didn’t grip me like that story. J.M Darhower is a great storyteller so I knew if I hung in there, I would be rewarded.
The story starts with dancer/hooker Scarlet (Morgan Myer) selling herself for protection and information from powerful underworld bosses. I couldn’t figure out the significance of the information other than she was hiding from another boss. But it was clear most of her actions were motivated out of an extreme amount of fear.
The hero Lorenzo Gambino vacillated between being a sociopath to a moody/angry mobster. You can’t be unfeeling if you are in a constant state of rage. Just sayin’. Anyway, I am unclear of Scarlet really sought him out as a protector or just picked the pocket of the wrong dude. But that moment seemed to bind them and despite several attempts to pull away from each other, they always drawn back to the other. The sex scenes were definitely the best part of this book because they were steamy, fascinating and provocative.
I couldn’t decide if Lorenzo’s curiosity was based on the great sex or the Russian monster that scared Scarlet more than him. It was like a pissing contest because Lorenzo wanted to meet the Russian who thought he was thought his game was gangsta than Lorenzo’s.
Honestly, the author took her time in getting to the heart of the plot. I prefer faster paced stories or at least great character development to compensate for slower paced yet suspenseful accounts. I didn’t feel that the characters were fleshed out that well but the author did enough to get me to like them.
I was hoping the book would get better and the last two chapters were probably the best in the book and made everything make more sense. It made Scarlet make more sense to me and then I felt empathy for her plight. Lorenzo remains an enigma for me so the jury is out on his character. The writing and the narrators kept my attention and I really need book 2 to be released as this one ended on a cliff hanger.

Ezi

Mascara & Bandages by Brandon Witt

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mascara & Bandages: by Brandon Witt
Series: Mary’s Boys #3
Release Date: July 12th, 2017
Pages: 121 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Ariel Merman is a new drag queen who’s already finding a family at Hamburger Mary’s. After a performance as Ariel, Zachary Cooper walks home in his makeup and is assaulted by homophobes. Zachary’s worry that the attack has thrown a wrench in his good fortune is eased when he looks into the eyes of his doctor.

Dr. Teegan Chau is a little lost after divorcing his wife and coming out of the closet, but he can’t deny the pull he feels toward the young man he patches up. Luckily, Zachary takes the initiative and asks Teegan out. But attraction is the easy part of their blossoming relationship—as they deal with an ex-wife and child, being a drag queen in a heteronormative culture, Zachary’s lingering trauma from his attack, and Teegan acclimating to life as part of an out-and-proud gay couple.

The challenges seem daunting at the start of a romance. Can Zachary and Teegan make it through the rough patches and take a chance on the love that’s been missing from both their lives?

three-half-stars

Left wanting more. That is my initial thought after reading this. I didn’t feel like it was finished at all. Felt like it left off in the middle of the story except it ended. I enjoyed this a little bit more then book 2 in the series. It starts off with a brutal attack. Both guys kinda deal with heavy life choices in this book. I do enjoy reading Witt’s writing because I always get the most vulnerable and realistic feelings while reading his work. I love that he puts so much emotion into his writing and character development. My only downfall is that this book ended about 50 pages to short.

Zachary is alone. He’s young, both parents are gone, and his own redemption is being Ariel Merman. While being Ariel Merman, Zachary’s insecurities and self-esteem is completely gone. He doesn’t have to think of his life, he doesn’t have to think of his future, he just has to let Ariel take over and enjoy it for the time being. He’s attacked and its left all his doubts, fears and insecurities come swimming to the surface. The only plus is meeting Dr. Teegan Chau. He’s a gay man, but not out and proud. Instead he’s swimming through murky waters since coming out to the people that matter a few years ago. The plus side is a boulder is lifted off his shoulders. He can live his truths and care for the people most important in his life.

I did like the two of them together. It was nice to see the relationship grown on page. I liked the nervous energy that each guy had. It is super new for the both of them, and I liked the realness of it. I could see these two being something in the future. I think with each other’s personality they work well together.

Its really no surprise that I liked this story. I do enjoy Witt’s writing alot. I love the series and can’t wait for more. I think if you love reading about real problems, guys persevering, and falling in love then picking up the Mary Boys books shouldn’t be an issue. Its a recommend for this series.

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About Brandon Witt

Brandon Witt is many things. Above all, he is living the dream. After years of writing and reaching for the stars, he is a published author through Dreamspinner Press. Thus far, his novels include The Shattered Door, Then the Stars Fall, and three installments of the Men of Myth series. Also, he has short stories published in various anthologies.

For the first eighteen years of life, Brandon lived in a small Ozark town, El Dorado Springs, Missouri before moving with his family to Colorado. There he got degrees in Youth Ministry and Special Education and worked as a counselor and special education teacher for fifteen years.

The tension of his religious upbringing and being a gay man finds its way onto nearly every page in his novels, as does experiences that over a decade of loving children who have faced much abuse and many struggles. Reflecting what he has discovered to be true in life, Brandon’s writing does not shy away from challenges and conflict but also revels in the joy that can only happen when truly embracing and loving all that life has to offer.

Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

Narrator: Callie Dalton
Source: Tantor Audio

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Wait for It by Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Callie Dalton
Release Date: March 8, 20117
Format: Audiobook (15 hrs and 52 mins)
Genre: Romance
Published By: Tantor Audio

If anyone ever said being an adult was easy, they hadn’t been one long enough.

Diana Casillas can admit it: she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing half the time. How she’s made it through the last two years of her life without killing anyone is nothing short of a miracle. Being a grown-up wasn’t supposed to be so hard.

With a new house, two little boys she inherited the most painful possible way, a giant dog, a job she usually loves, more than enough family, and friends, she has almost everything she could ever ask for.

Except for a boyfriend Or a husband. But who needs either one of those?

four-half-stars

This was another winner from Mariana Zapata. I was a little scared that my second audiobook by her will succumb to the sophomore jinx. No such worries because this book had my favorite trope, the single parent who finds love. This story focused more on the family aspect than the romance and I loved that. Callie Dalton definitely fits Zapata’s characters because her voice added to my enjoyment.

Diana Casillas (yes, related to Sal Casillas from Kulti) is raising her two nephews, Josh and Louie at the ripe ole age of 29 years old. Events led her to meeting her neighbor Dallas Walker. As a parent myself, I appreciated hearing Diana’s inner musings as I have similar thoughts going on in my head. I also loved how much she just loved those boys and did her best with what hand life dealt her. I knew Dallas was a good guy even though we didn’t know his situation with his ex. He was trying to look out for his brother as well as looking after his grandmother.

There was moments of sadness, angst, humor and romance. The author just took her time to outline the plot, form the characters and unfold the story. I loved what each character brought to the narrative. I also loved how the narrator’s voice brought this story to life. The ending was just so AAAHHHHHH! I just exhaled with pleasure. Bravo to the author. I can’t wait to get to the other books Mariana Zapata has written because these are the kinds of books I want to listen to.

Ezi

Guest Review: Skin After Skin by Jordan Castillo Price

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Skin After Skin: by Jordan Castillo Price
Series: PsyCop #8
Release Date: June 23rd, 2017
Pages: 387 • Format: eARC
Published By: JCP Books
Purchase Links:
Amazon • Kobo • Smashwords • Barnes & Noble

A Crash Prequel

Fierce. Audacious. Independent. Curtis Ash can’t be bothered to settle down. He’s too busy enjoying his cushy job as a high-paid stylist, caught in a whirlwind of hookups, parties, and obscenely priced cocktails.

The only snarl in an otherwise charmed life is the salon’s hotshot colorist, Red Turner. Not only does Red put the whammy on customers and rake in all the big tips, he’s oblivious to Crash’s flirtation. But there will be plenty of time to win him over…so Crash thinks.

Thanks to his refusal to trust his gut, Crash not only tanks his career—he allows the one man who truly holds his interest to slip away. While he insists he doesn’t need a relationship to complete him, would sharing his life with someone really be so bad?

Skin After Skin is a sweeping saga that begins two years before “Among the Living” and ends just after “Spook Squad”. Experience PsyCop like you’ve never seen it before, through Crash’s eyes. Discover new facets of characters and events from the span of the entire series and beyond, all from the viewpoint of an extroverted empath.

four-half-stars

I’ve been a big fan of the PysCop series for years now. While I adore both Vic and Jacob, Crash has always been my favorite character. I’m happy every time he’s in a scene and I’ve read all his short stories. I was eagerly awaiting the day he got his own book so I went into this with great excitement. I’m so glad to be able to say that this was as good as I was hoping it would be. In fact in was better.

The book is told in parts and covers a lot of time in Crash’s life. When the book starts he is a stylist at an upscale salon. It’s during this time that he meets Red. It’s also the time he meets Caroline and starts getting drawn into the Psy world. As the book goes on we watch as Crash starts to learn more about his ability, we see his relationship with Jacob, we see him become a business owner and we see the Psy world from his perspective.

The Crash we see here is both different and the same. I think the fact that we see him in more depth helps but I think we also see how Vic’s view of Crash is slightly skewed. (But I think we all know Vic may not be the most reliable historian). If I thought I loved Crash before it was nothing compared to how I felt when I finished this book. I also wasn’t sold on Red from when we had seen him in the previous book. I really adored him in this though. He was a super interesting character and the connection between the two men jumped off of the pages.

As usual for this author, the writing was top notch. The story just flowed and the pacing was really well done, especially since it covered a lot of events and a long time period. The characters were so well done. We’ve seen them all before and we thought we knew them well but seeing them from Crash’s point of view rather than Vic’s gives us different impressions and different perspectives of each of them. I’ve read other series where author’s do books on side characters but it’s usually a completely different story. This was so creatively done by combining both new events and then events we’d seen before but now from a different point of view.

I don’t have any complaints about this and I think it is a must read for fans of the series. I think this could be read as a standalone but I’m not sure I’d recommend that. Part of the magic for me was having preconceived ideas of all the characters from the previous books but then having all that slightly turned around when I read this. Either way, it’s a book I’d definitely recommend.

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About Jordan Castillo Price

Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price writes paranormal sci-fi thrillers colored by her time in the midwest, from inner city Chicago, to various cities across southern Wisconsin. She’s recently settled in a 1910 Cape Cod near Lake Michigan with tons of character and a plethora of bizarre spiders. Her influences include Ouija boards, Return of the Living Dead, “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” girls with tattoos and boys in eyeliner.

Jordan is best known as the author of the PsyCop series, an unfolding tale of paranormal mystery and suspense starring Victor Bayne, a gay medium who’s plagued by ghostly visitations. Also check out her mind-bending trilogy Mnevermind, where memories are made…one client at a time.

Guest Review: A Kind of Home by Lane Hayes

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Kind of Home: by Lane Hayes
Series: A Kind of Stories #4
Release Date: June 23rd, 2017
Pages: 224 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

A Kind Of Story

Isaac Dalton is the guitarist for Spiral, arguably the biggest rock band in the world. The band’s meteoric rise to superstardom has its perks, but fame and fortune aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Nonstop touring and performing exhaust him, and when an overzealous fan makes it imperative that Isaac travel with a clingy bodyguard, he is ready for a break from the madness. More so when his newly single first crush shows up on his doorstep. The man is strictly off-limits. He’s a memory from a place Isaac would rather leave behind. And he’s straight.

Fun-loving former athlete slash construction worker Adam McBride desperately needs a new beginning. And New York City is the perfect place to start over and think about how to rebuild his life. A short stint as roommates with his brother’s best friend from high school seems like a mutually beneficial arrangement. However, when friendship gives way to fierce attraction, both men find themselves in uncharted and possibly dangerous territory. Isaac has to decide if he’s willing to take the ultimate risk for a kind of love and a kind of home he never dreamed possible.

four-stars

In previous books of this series we have gotten to know the guys from the rock band Spiral. By the time this book begins the band is huge. They’re one of the most famous bands in the world and the long hours, traveling and lack of privacy has begun to wear on guitarist Isaac. He loves the music but he’s growing weary of everything else. What he wants most is to be left alone. Unfortunately for Isaac he’s picked up an odd fan who seems like they might be obsessed with him. As a result he has also picked up a body guard he doesn’t want.

Imagine Isaac’s shock when he gets home from a tour to find that the old friend he said could use his apartment for a week or so is still there a few months later. Adam is the older brother of Isaac’s best friend from high school. Isaac always had a crush on the older boy and hasn’t seen him since his wedding a few years earlier. Despite his annoyance at finding Adam at his place he agrees to let him stay a bit longer. Adam is getting divorced and is looking to make some changes in his life.

As the two men begin to get reacquainted Isaac finds that all the things that attracted him to Adam in the past are still there but now there are even more things to like about him. Adam is in New York to make big changes in his life and apparently he’s not as straight as Isaac always thought he was. The two can’t deny their chemistry and soon friendship turns into something more.

I liked both of these MC’s individually and I really loved them together. They were a perfect compliment to each other. Their chemistry jumped off the pages and the book was filled with both sweet, romantic scenes and some super hot bedroom scenes. The grand gesture at the end was especially lovely.

Extra kudos to the author for not making the ex wife the stereotypical shrew and for not making Adam’s bisexuality an issue or problem within the marriage. I thought the entire divorce part of the plot line was well thought out and executed perfectly.

This book can be read as a standalone. Because of both band work and their friendships we see a lot of some of the previous characters (especially Rand) so if you’ve read the others you’ll probably appreciate that. So whether you’re an existing fan of the series or new to it, this is a book I would definitely recommend.

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About Lane Hayes

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions in the 2014 and 2015 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow Lab ever in an almost empty nest.

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 61,000 words
 
 
Blurb
 
Confronting the past is never easy.


Cole Whitaker is happy. He has the job and boyfriend he always wanted. His heart’s in no danger of being broken, and he can’t ask for more from life. As a kindergarten teacher, he sees it all; however, one troublesome student has him reaching out to the parent, wanting to help. There’s something about Savanah that tugs at his heartstrings.


He never expected her father.


Zander Brooks hasn’t had an easy life, and he’s made some mistakes. Freshly retired from the military and working as a firefighter, Zander thought he’d left Cole in the rearview mirror. He’s not expecting him to appear in St. Petersburg, Florida, of all places, teaching his daughter’s kindergarten class. Suddenly, his biggest mistake is being shoved in his face.


This is Zander’s chance to close a door he’d never fully shut, but time with his former flame might change his mind.
 

Excerpt


Time had done nothing to dull Cole’s memories of Zander Brooks, though he wished it had. His stomach rolled, and he had to lock his knees to keep upright. Breathe, Cole, you’re being dramatic. Of all the places for them to see each other after nearly two decades…. It was some consolation, a very small amount, that Zander appeared equally as shocked to see Cole. He stood in the doorway, unmoving and silent, his lips parted. Cole could feel Zander,s gaze on him like a physical touch. It made his skin prickle, his heart skip a beat. He was supposed to be over this.


Cole needed to find his words. He was a professional, and whatever personal history they’d had, it was just that. History. It was irrelevant in this room. He played pretend with his class sometimes. He could do that now. He cleared his throat, feeling a bit like a cat with a hairball. “Hello, Mr… Emerson?” It was less confident than he’d been going for, but it would have to do. Zander took a minute to noticeably reorient himself. He walked into the classroom slowly. His pace could even be considered hesitant. Cole tried to ignore the observation, the nagging surge of satisfaction that he wasn’t alone in being off kilter.


From behind him, Savanah snorted. Cole glommed onto the excuse to look away from Zander and turned to her. Savanah’s pert nose was scrunched. “Can I play outside?” she asked, gaze darting between Cole and her father.


Jesus. Zander was a father. Zander was the father who Cole had been wanting to meet. If Cole didn’t regulate his breathing, he was going to have a full blown panic attack. He’d been in love with one of his student’s fathers. He’d had his heart broken for the first time by him. Seventeen years later and it somehow still stung. “No, but you can use one of the stations,” he said, hoping he didn’t sound too strangled. He ran a hand over the back of his neck, damp from sweat. He thought it was possible he’d had a nightmare like this before.


Savanah pouted but went in silence to the reading corner. She made sure to scuff her shoes over the carpet on the way.


“It’s Mr. Brooks,” said Zander, sounding much closer. His voice was the same, deep and smooth like velvet. It sent parts of Cole’s insides fluttering in a way he hadn’t experienced in years.


Cole retreated under the guise of picking the workbook and pencil off the floor. Savanah had Goldfish crumbs littered around the legs of her desk. “Ah, I see. My apologies.” He aligned the book and pencil symmetrically on the scarred desktop. A few of the workbook’s pages were crinkled now, folding in on themselves. He tried to smooth them down and noticed in the process that Savanah had been working ahead. He made a mental note of it.


He was going to have to stop delaying and face Zander eventually. Could he play this off like he hadn’t recognized Zander or was that cat long out of the bag? “Why don’t you take a seat? I’ll be right with you.” He cupped his hand at the edge of Savanah’s desk and used his other to sweep eraser crumbs into his palm.


“Uh.” Zander coughed, shuffling his feet and rustling his jeans in the process. “Here?”


Cole managed to look at Zander at last. His lips even twitched into a half-smirk of their own accord at the picture of Zander squeezed into a child-sized seat. The smirk didn’t last long. Zander was too close. Cole could make out the nearly golden striations in his irises, could see the slow progression of his pupil taking over the brown. He had a scar at his temple now, a jagged slash from hairline to the arch of his eyebrow. Stress lines looked to be permanently etched in the dark brown skin at the corners of his eyes and mouth. If Cole didn’t know better, he’d have said he was staring at someone in their forties. The years they’d been apart had not been overly kind to Zander.


Strangely the realization left Cole with a hollow feeling, a tinge of… disappointment, maybe. He’d been angry with Zander with every fiber of his teenage being, but buried underneath had always been a quiet hope that Zander would figure out how to be happy.


Clearly he’d not.

 

Author Bio


Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF, and recently completed a masters program for Publishing in the UK. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes. In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.


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Vodka & Handcuffs by Brandon Witt

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Vodka & Handcuffs: by Brandon Witt
Series: Mary’s Boys #2
Release Date: April 26th, 2017
Pages: 112 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.

Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.

Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force.

Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?

three-stars

Yeah, Bunk that’s exactly how I feel.

I took a few days off from writing my initial thoughts and feelings for this book. The blurb and the Vahin had me really excited to read his book. I liked him a lot in book one. My rating is very generous because I like the author, and know how great his stories can be. This was a total letdown for me. I feel cheated because they couldn’t even build up to a relationship without all the outside interrupting them. Some might classify this as a HFN, but I can not. They spend literally a blink of eye together, and it was nothing that I read that seemed like they connected. It was not good. There, I said it.

I enjoyed Vahin as a character in book one, but in this book he kinda seems lost. I guess that has to do with his past playing heavy on his mind. I don’t know if it took away from his character, but it definitely posed a bigger mystery to him? I thought it would be some resolution for him at the end since his past was presence so much, but it was none. I don’t know how to write this when I feel like pieces of the story were so disjointed.

Marlon, Marlon Marlon. Why?? Two people of color as main characters and their story was not good. I don’t really get Marlon. I guess he never seemed into Vahin. I felt like Witt forced them together, I didn’t feel the steam, love, lust or any connection between the two. Marlon had to deal with his horrible partner as a Denver Police Officer. One could ask why he is still a beat cop at 38, but that just randomly flew out of my head. Kudos to Witt writing some realism in this story. He always is able to deliver some realistic fiction in his stories. The subject is very much true and happening so prevalent in this day and age.

It had a few funny laughs, but nothing to wow me about the book. I really wish it was light hearted, smutty with this side of drama like book one, but I digress. I’ll still read Witt’s forthcoming book. This just didn’t work for me.

 

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About Brandon Witt

Brandon Witt is many things. Above all, he is living the dream. After years of writing and reaching for the stars, he is a published author through Dreamspinner Press. Thus far, his novels include The Shattered Door, Then the Stars Fall, and three installments of the Men of Myth series. Also, he has short stories published in various anthologies.

For the first eighteen years of life, Brandon lived in a small Ozark town, El Dorado Springs, Missouri before moving with his family to Colorado. There he got degrees in Youth Ministry and Special Education and worked as a counselor and special education teacher for fifteen years.

The tension of his religious upbringing and being a gay man finds its way onto nearly every page in his novels, as does experiences that over a decade of loving children who have faced much abuse and many struggles. Reflecting what he has discovered to be true in life, Brandon’s writing does not shy away from challenges and conflict but also revels in the joy that can only happen when truly embracing and loving all that life has to offer.

Loose Cannon by Sidney Bell

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Loose Cannon: by Sidney Bell
Series: The Woodbury Boys #1
Release Date: April 3rd, 2017
Pages: 327 • Format: eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Don’t miss this brand-new male/male romance series from Sidney Bell, author of Bad Judgment

Released after five years in the system for assault, streetwise Edgar-Allen Church is ready to leave the past behind and finally look to his future. In need of a place to crash, he’s leaning on Miller Quinn. A patient, solidly masculine pillar of strength and support, Miller has always been there for him—except in the one way Church has wanted the most.

With his staunchly conservative upbringing, Miller has been playing it straight his whole life. Now with Church so close again, it’s getting harder to keep his denial intact. As they fumble their way back to friendship after so many years apart, Miller struggles to find the courage to accept who he really is. What he has with Church could be more than desire—it could be love. But it could also mean trouble.

Church’s criminal connections are closing in on the both of them, and more than their hearts are at risk. This time, their very lives are on the line.

five-stars

This book surely deserved that slow clap. So I originally read this book in Janurary as an ARC, and was blown away by it. It was the first book of the year to get 5 stars and land on my Best Books of 2017 list! I was completely enthralled with the story and it stuck with me. Well what did I do? I completely forgot to write my review. Knowing that I was going to have to skim or re-read it had me worried. I was worried if I didn’t like it the second time around just as much. If I could find little things to nit pick that would cause me to lower my rating or change my opinion overall. I am shocked that the second time around, I’m just as in love with it as the first one. Didn’t cry, but it was the same raw emotions and feelings the first time around. Bell has some true talent, I’m 2 for 2 on her books and she continues to be a force to reckon with so far.

This angsty, age-gap, out for you romance with a great plot and superb characters was Ah-Maz-Ing like Penny stated above. I was blown away by the story, the journey, friendship, love and obligation that Miller & Church had towards each other. Edgar Allen Church is such a complex character with an wonderful heart. He is fresh out of Woodbury Rehabilitation Center for Youth Offenders. When his living arrangements fall through, it leaves him no choice but to call the one person who he hasn’t spoken to in 5 years. Miller. Miller who is everything to Church. Not knowing the feeling is reciprocated. Church comes from an abusive childhood where fists are used instead of words, where no physical acts of love is shown, and he only has himself. Miller breaks my heart, he’s living day to day but not really living. He has this storm raging inside of him, and instead of letting himself be he hides himself and its literally eating him apart.

I really like how the story is told in 3 different parts. We get to see what lead Church to his incarceration, what happened between him and Miller, and the fall out from those years spent apart. This was angsty in my opinion, but I’m glad that it had multiple components to keep me on my toes without worrying about their relationship. As much as I loved Church, my feelings were all over the place with Miller. He’s been in love with Church for so long but all his thoughts and feelings are constricted based on the guilt he feels about another man. Wrapped up in his own head, and hearing his father saying its a sin has Miller waffling on his sexuality. Bell did a good job on Church being the calm one when the sexuality conversation comes into play. It gets steamy and the love is already there. You can see what they mean to each other and I’m just blown away by the feels that was in this book.

The mystery aspect was well done. I cannot wait for Tobias to get a story. I don’t care if its with Ghost or not, I just need pure, sweet Tobias to get love. Ha, I know he isn’t pure, but I loved him. Ghost is so broken, but so wonderful at the same time I expect so many tears to come when his book comes out.

This was such a great start to the series. I mean, Bell did a good job with Bad Judgement, but Loose Cannon is in a class all by it self. Very well written, extremely flawed characters, such a realistic feeling to an emotional journey. I think fans in this genre would love this, and can definitely see this on the Best Books of 2017 list. A definite recommend from me.

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About Sidney Bell

Sidney Bell lives in the drizzly Pacific Northwest with her amazingly supportive husband. She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing in 2010, considered aiming for the Great American Novel, and then promptly started writing fanfiction instead. Eventually more realistic grown-ups convinced her to try writing something more fiscally responsible, which is how we ended up here.

When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.